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IT Dept attaches ‘benami’ property; Delhi Min Satyender Jain denies involvement

New Delhi: The Income Tax department has provisionally attached ‘benami assets’ allegedly linked to Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain in a case of illegal routing of undisclosed funds of over Rs 13 crore, a charge strongly denied by him.

In a detailed statement, Jain said his name has been wrongly dragged to create a “false impression” about him and that he is “not afraid” of any probe about his income details.

The IT department had issued the order last week under the provisions of the new Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988 that came into force on November 1 last year.

The department had claimed to have identified four firms that allegedly took “accommodation (bogus) entries in the form of share capital” and purchased assets illegally.

Jain, in the statement, said “I have earned all my income with my hard work and I have been a tax payer for decades. I am not afraid of any probe about my income details, nor am I scared of any political vendetta.”

“I am a professional architect with a practice of nearly 25 years, during the course of which I have designed numerous buildings in the country. During my practice days, I made investments of around Rs 51 lakh between the years 2007 and 2012 in few Pvt Ltd companies,” he said.

Jain said that since he did not want a conflict of interest, he had quit from the boards of companies in which he was a director within 10 days of getting the Aam Aadmi Party ticket to contest Delhi Assembly polls in 2013.

“On 21 July 2013, I was given the ticket of Aam Aadmi Party to contest the Delhi Vidhan Sabha elections from Shakur Basti constituency.

“Within 10 days, (on 31st July 2013) I resigned from the boards of companies in which I was a director. I had taken this decision since I was entering politics and I did not want any conflict of interest,” he said.

“I have not been associated since 31 July 2013 with any of the companies… and I fail to understand how my name has been dragged with regard to investment value of the land etc,” Jain said.

The the IT department had alleged that the total accommodation entries received by these firms between 2010-2016 is Rs 13.68 crore and it is “pertinent to note that these companies did not have any business activity during the period of funding so as to attract such huge funding in the form of share capital and share premium”.

Hundreds of bighas of land, allegedly purchased in and around Delhi by the said four firms, have been provisionally attached by the department under the new benami law which carries a maximum punishment of up to 7 years rigorous imprisonment and a hefty penalty.

PTI